The Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) said it has started the process that will lead to the exploration of oil and gas in the Sokoto basin.
NNPC's Group Managing Director, Maikanti Kachalla Baro, stated this when he received the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who paid a working visit to the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
"We have been on the issue of exploration in the frontier basins and so far some measures of stpes have been taken. We have already purchased aeromagnetic data and its being intepreted to determine the sedimentary thickness and the basin configuration," Baro said according to a statement issued by Tambuwal's spokesman, Malam Imam Imam.
"Secondly, we have awarded a contract for the geological mapping of the basin and I am happy to state here that outcop samples have been collected, mapped, analysed and geological modeling executed so as to ensure data integration," the GMD stated.
He added that discussions are ongoing with Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) to award contract for surface geochemistry, ground gravity and magnetics. This, according to him, is necessary to determine if hydrocarbon was generated in the basins and importantly, to integrate all date for understanding of petroleum systems of the basins.
Baro said the NNPC will also carry out high resolution regional 2D seismic data acquisition to identify leads and prospects, after which a 3D seismic data acquisition will be carried out over leads and prospects.
"After all these are carried out, we will then begin to drill for oil and gas in the basin," he added.
While commending Tambuwal for the visit, Baro assured that the cooperation is giving required attention to renewable energy and inland basins in order to create a prosperous future for the entity.
Earlier in his remarks, Tambuwal said various studies have been carried out by the government on the Sokoto Basins, the resut of which will be made available to the NNPC to aid its efforts.
He said the government, in collaboration with the Usman Danfodio University, will organise a national conference on the Sokoto Basin in October where international scholars will make presentations on the topic.
"We are inviting you and the NNPC to take part in this important conference because we believe it will add value in our search for hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin," he added.
He said historical records indicate that the presence of hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin has been a subject of interest to geologists for long, a situation that made Italian oil giants, Elf, to consider preliminary exploration activities beginning from the 50s.
He said Sokoto government will welcome the start of activities and will support any effort that will lead to positive result.